The Hip-Hop Heart | Letters | Chicago Reader

The Hip-Hop Heart 

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frederick.qxd

To the editor:

Franklin Soults should stick to reviewing music and avoid social commentary, particularly regarding branches of society he knows little or nothing about [Rock, Etc., October 2].

His attempts to lend credence to his words by flaunting the little he knows about hip-hop culture are quite patronizing. Even comedic. Referring to a "hip-hop renaissance" and Puffy Combs, the Fugees, and Missy Elliot in the same sentence? Gimme a fuckin' break!

Oh yeah, nice job quoting Chuck D. It seems any moron attempting to feign interest in hip-hop culture must always refer to Chuck at some point--as if quoting Chuck is supposed to be some sort of indication to b-boys that Franklin Soults is "down" with hip-hop culture.

I haven't anything against Puff, Wyclef, Missy Elliot, Jermaine Dupri, and the like. It's just that the music they produce isn't hip-hop. Merely rapping over the instrumental of some hit from the 70s or 80s does not qualify one as an MC. Hip-hop culture and what it entails (MCing, DJing, break dancing, and graffiti) are about spontaneity and originality, two qualities that true b-boys take very seriously. And while I myself do not particularly enjoy the collected works of the No Limit soldiers, I must admit that Master P possesses way more originality than any of Mr. Soults's "renaissance hip-hoppers."

So, the point of all this? Mr. Soults should try to attain a little more knowledge and understanding about hip-hop from sources other than commercial media. He obviously doesn't understand that true hip-hop has always been, is, and always will be, from the hearts of the underground. Only when he understands this key concept can he expect any respect for any of his commentaries/reviews of hip-hop music. Otherwise, b-boys will just see him as being as fake as the mass entertainment he professes to have so much disgust for.

Or he can just shut the fuck up.

Peace to the gods and the earths.

R.S. Frederick

Chicago

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